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Activity 2 - How Glaciers Respond to Changes in Climate

Use the resources listed below to help you complete this activity.


To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:

How Glaciers Form and Move

"Ice Sheets and Glaciers" - NASA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Introduces ice sheet and glacier formation, their importance in regards to influencing and monitoring global climate, their influence on atmospheric and oceanic circulation, how glaciers move, and more. Also looks at the technology that scientists use to study glaciers.

Glacier Hazards From Space - PBS
“Glacier hazards represent a continuous threat to human lives and infrastructure in mountain regions. Outbursts of glacier lakes, ice break-offs and subsequent avalanches, and related disasters can kill hundreds or even thousands of people at once and cause damage with a worldwide annual sum in the tens of millions of dollars. Global warming is exacerbating the situation by causing rapid changes to glaciers and glacier lakes. For this reason, and because the remoteness of glaciers makes ground-based observations difficult, satellite imagery has become an invaluable tool—and sometimes the only tool—for glacier hazard assessment. Here, view a series of glacier-related disasters and hazards imaged by a NASA satellite for the international Global Land Ice Measurements from Space, or GLIMS, project

"Measuring a Moving Glacier" - Sauber et al., 1995, Earth in Space, vol. 8, no. 3, AGU
Online article explains how scientists have used GPS to study the movement of the Bering Glacier in southern Alaska.

Inquiring Further:

To learn more about present-day glacial activity, visit the following web sites:

"Glacier News" - All About Glaciers - National Snow and Ice Data Center

To learn more about the Precambrian glaciers, visit the following web sites:

"Snowball Earth" - Scientific American

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Last updated: May 11, 2010

This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the AGI Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.




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